Shreveport, La., USA, to hail Elvis, king of rock 'n' roll, with 50th anniversary celebration
The worn stage floor of the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport is the same floor a young Elvis Presley performed on nearly 50 years ago.
The 19-year-old had waited through a long list of performers to appear that night on a nationally broadcast radio show - the Louisiana Hayride, in front of a live audience. The event, on Oct. 16, 1954, would be Elvis first career performance, the start of something so big, so powerful, so dramatic that it would change the world's idea of music and entertainment.
The Friends of the Municipal Auditorium have organized a concert bash and other events to celebrate that great moment in music history. On Oct. 16, Presley's friends - the TCB Band, including Shreveport's son and internationally acclaimed guitarist, James Burton will join original Hayride drummer D.J. Fontana, the Jordanaires and Terry Mike Jeffrey for a night of Presley memories. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Auditorium located at 705 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Proceeds will go to help the Friends of the Municipal breathe life back into the historic building with projects that include museum exhibits, guided tours, restoration and educational opportunities. Tickets go on sale July 12. Prices are $25, $35 and $45. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets for $20.
The Hayride, or Cradle to the Stars as it was affectionately called, was the catalyst for not just Presley's career. The weekly radio program on Shreveport s KWKH hit the air April 3, 1948. In its first ten years, the Hayride launched the stardoms of Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Slim Whitman, Johnny Horton, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Bob Luman, and the list goes on and on.
Some of that history is on display at the Stage of Stars Museum, which opened this summer. The museum has regular Saturday hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, groups can schedule tours anytime by calling the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau at 318-222-9391 or 800-551-8682, ext. 105.
For more information about the concert, visit the Friends of the Municipal website at www.stageofstars.com or call the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (318) 227-8863, where tickets can be purchased. Darwin Lamm, is the concert producer. He s known for putting Presley musicians and friends together to perform and meet the fans since 1989 with Good Rockin' Tonite concerts during Elvis Tribute Week in Memphis.